Your favorite non-cliche classical music
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Pr0crastin8r

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Not that any classical music is truly cliche... but you know, some pieces are just heard too often, on television, the radio, etc. I'm talking about Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and anything else really that sounds uncomfortably familiar.

Once in awhile one is bound to stumble upon a classical treasure--something that sounds intriguingly depthful, sonically pleasing, and makes you want to come back for more WITHOUT laying eggs in your brain that take drastic measures (bad rock and roll) to remove.

I guess what I'm looking for is something not very happy, but kind of medieval or sweet or enchanting that will stand out from the other classical music that I'm so used to hearing. Any ideas?
 
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KR...

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Quote:

Not that any classical music is truly cliche... but you know, some pieces are just heard too often, on television, the radio, etc. I'm talking about Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and anything else really that sounds uncomfortably familiar.


In my painting class, we are allow to play our own music, some girl brought in what apeared to be like teh greatest hits of classical. So wonder so many people hate classical music, if this is all they know.


Listen to

Shostakovich
Mahler
Wagner (There is a lot more to him than Ride of the Valkyries)
Liszt
Goreki
 
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yage

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Hmmm...

Well, try these on for size -

Rachmaninoff - Piano Concertos 2 & 3
Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto in D maj, Op. 35 and Piano Concerto No. 1
Saint-Saens - Bacchanale, Danse Macabre, Symphony No. 3 "Organ"
Holst - The Planets
 
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dparrish

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There are SO many choices. . .

But to name ONE of my favorites that is not TOO well known:

"Hebrides Overture" by Felix Mendelssohn--written during a trip Mendelssohn took to Scotland, this piece is a tone poem which does a mesmerising job of painting the sounds of the sea which he heard while taking a boat ride out to Fingal's Cave (off the coast of Scotland--the piece is sometimes known as Fingal's Cave Overture).

I stumbled on this piece while taking one of my music history classes in college (as a music major), and it has become one of my most favorite since (some 20 years now). The piece has a dreamy, almost mystical quality which keeps me coming back for more.
 
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TimSchirmer

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Quote:

Originally posted by yage
Hmmm...

Saint-Saens - Bacchanale, Danse Macabre, Symphony No.


I love Danse Macabre!!!!

Awesome recommendation.... you should check these out
 
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Dusty Chalk

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Schubert's Trio in E flat, 4th movement

It starts out very simply, by no means indicating the grandeur it will later achieve. I was late for work the first time I heard it (had to stay in the car and finish listening to it).

The second movement is almost cliche' -- it was used in the film, "The Hunger", so it's very popular among "goths".
 
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insanefred

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Have you listened to much vocal music? Schubert's song cycles are excellent, depressive but enchanting, and really meaningful, full of little nuances that don't all come out the first time you listen. Die Schöne Müllerin ('The Pretty Maid of the Mill') and Winterreise ('A Winter's Journey') are my favourites, and you can pick up excellent recordings by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, the most famous Schubert lieder interpreter, at bargain or mid-price, because they've been reissued lots of times.
I'd also suggest some early choral music, perhaps a Palestrina mass, or some Byrd or Tallis, this is incredibly beautiful, haunting music, and I find that it works rather well on headphones.
Andrew
 
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Benjamin Britten's Cello Suites are riveting (especially with Rostropovich). His more lighthearted works that I enjoy are Simple Symphony (the 2nd movement, Playful Pizzicato never fail to bring a smile to my face) and The Young Person's Guide to Orchestra. His more sombre works- Peter Grimes (an opera) and War Requiem. Then there's the 2nd Viennese School (Schoenberg, Berg and Webern) who's known for a more atonal and dissonant sound though some of Schoenberg's orchestral pieces are more akin to romantic symphonies- I like Pelleas und Melisande and Verklarte Nacht (the latter with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is my all time favorite). Another one is Arvo Part- Cantus in the memory of Benjamin Britten and Fretres are my favorite. Another work that I find fascinating is Colin McPhee's Tabuh Tabuhan which is based on Balinese gamelan music. Finally, Steve Reich's drumming is as far as you can get from cliche
 
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Dusty Chalk

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Quote:

Originally posted by insanefred
Have you listened to much vocal music? Schubert's song cycles are excellent, depressive but enchanting, and really meaningful, full of little nuances that don't all come out the first time you listen.


Thanks for the recommendation! I have never paid much attention to classical vocal music, but will give it a try.
 
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insanefred

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I forgot one! Rachmaninov's Vespers, what an awesome piece! Get a recording by a Russian choir, and get blown away!
Dusty, there is so much out there that is wrongfully neglected! Explore, use your local library, try Naxos recordings (especially! the Faure Requiem, the chamber version, please buy this!) OK, we aren't talking emotional rollercoaster here, but, for sheer beauty, sometimes there's nothing that can beat the pure, unadulterated human voice, minus vibrato, minus theatrical and operatical posturing.
Andrew
 
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Get this CD:

"Mephisto & Co.". Reference Recordings. Eije Oue and Minnesota Orch. Has many fabulous pieces on it, with a great HDCD recording.

Beethoven: Tripleconcerto (Piano violin cello and orch), conducted by von Karajan (he has two out).

Vivaldi: "La Pastorella" chamber concertos. Very lilting and light.
Nice one on the Harmonica mundi Label.

Mahler: Symphonices #1 and #4.

Hanson: "Romantic" symphony. Gerald Schwarz does it very well.

Lalo: "Symphony espagnole". Really a violin concerto in disguise.

Rodrigo: Concerto de Aranjeuz and Fantasy for a Gentilhombre.
 
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Dusty Chalk

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Quote:

Originally posted by insanefred
I forgot one! Rachmaninov's Vespers, what an awesome piece! Get a recording by a Russian choir, and get blown away!


Actually, I've heard that one live, and it is sublime...my church choir (I used to be an alter boy, if you would believe that) was also involved in the recording of it, somehow, I think...

It's funny that you should mention theatricality, as this is exactly what I think it is about opera that I don't like. I can almost imagine the players on a stage, yet not...so I feel like I'm missing something.

If you have any additional particular performances you would recommend, I would certainly appreciate hearing them.
 
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ArChaos

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Quote:

Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto in D maj, Op. 35 and Piano Concerto No. 1


Quote:

Lalo: "Symphony espagnole". Really a violin concerto in disguise.


Beautiful choices

Romanian Rhapsody by George Enescu. One of the most beautiful rhapsodies I heard and rather unknown... and more known yet not less beautiful - Hungarian Rhapsody no. II by Liszt. Both performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stockovsky - IMO the best performance , really standing out from the other interpretations I heard - was available on vinyl long ago - well worthwhile looking for if you can find it.
 
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insanefred

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Yeah, there's something about listening to opera in your bedroom, thinking, "I'm sure this would be really nice on stage", and trying to imagine what was going on. I prefer opera in the theatre, I sit in the cheap seats and bring a libretto, much more fun than sitting at home. The visual and dramatical aspect of opera does account for some of its appeal, to a greater degree than a lot of music. That doesn't stop me sticking some opera on the turntable, it just means that I have to concentrate harder. Actually, with some Wagner, I think the music itself is sufficiently dramatic to hold the attention, I find it very powerful.
Other music? Requiems, requiems, more requiems! Verdi (Fricsay, Giulini), Mozart (Bohm), Faure (Naxos), the list goes on... I'm a sucker for big choral and orchestral pieces, having sung with choirs and played with orchestras. Mahler 2 and 8 (Solti), Vaughan Willams Sea Symphony (Boult), Stravinsky's Symhony of Psalms (Stravinsky), Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem (Boult), Mendelssohn's Elijah (Bryn Terfel)... I could go on, there's so much. That's part of the fun, finding something really obscure but fantastic!
Andrew
 
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ArChaos

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One of the most beautiful pieces for violin, performed as encores by many violinists - just to name a few: Elman, Heifetz, Perlman, Mullova... and Stern-which I like best
- SARASATE-TZIGEUNERWEISEN
 
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